Event Title

The Digital Touch: Craftwork, Gender and Tactile Media

Presenter Information

Jack Bratich, Rutgers University

Start Date

18-10-2009 12:30 PM

End Date

18-10-2009 2:30 PM

Description

This paper was presented at Paper Session 5a: The New Model Worker.

While much of autonomist theory privileges the most developed sector of capitalism (the digital online media and communication industries), this paper asks us to turn our attention to a revived ‘pre-capitalist’ form of cultural production. This article analyzes the recent resurgence of DIY craft culture around the following themes: 1) immaterial and affective labour; 2) gender and the home; 3) time and capitalism’s historicity. It challenges the periodisation of immateriality by highlighting the informational and communicative practices embedded in craft culture. In so doing, we can rethink the temporality of capitalism by teasing out a labour thread that passes through capitalism without being reduced to its purview. The gendered dimension of digital labour displays affective and immaterial qualities that have persisted resiliently before, during, and, in time, after capitalism. Craft as power (the capacity to act) is an ontological accumulation of species-being that pushes us to rethink the ‘organizing’ of subjects. Craft, tied to what Nick Dyer-Witheford calls species-being resurgent, provides a key example of the ontological development of subjective powers, ones that become ever more resonant in the crisis and ruins of capitalism.

 
Oct 18th, 12:30 PM Oct 18th, 2:30 PM

The Digital Touch: Craftwork, Gender and Tactile Media

This paper was presented at Paper Session 5a: The New Model Worker.

While much of autonomist theory privileges the most developed sector of capitalism (the digital online media and communication industries), this paper asks us to turn our attention to a revived ‘pre-capitalist’ form of cultural production. This article analyzes the recent resurgence of DIY craft culture around the following themes: 1) immaterial and affective labour; 2) gender and the home; 3) time and capitalism’s historicity. It challenges the periodisation of immateriality by highlighting the informational and communicative practices embedded in craft culture. In so doing, we can rethink the temporality of capitalism by teasing out a labour thread that passes through capitalism without being reduced to its purview. The gendered dimension of digital labour displays affective and immaterial qualities that have persisted resiliently before, during, and, in time, after capitalism. Craft as power (the capacity to act) is an ontological accumulation of species-being that pushes us to rethink the ‘organizing’ of subjects. Craft, tied to what Nick Dyer-Witheford calls species-being resurgent, provides a key example of the ontological development of subjective powers, ones that become ever more resonant in the crisis and ruins of capitalism.